Sounds to me like your thinking is rather scattered all over the place.
First of all it would be helpful to have specs on the system you are using; Make/Model of your PC or laptop, and Make/Model of each hard drive in question.
Next, it really does appear you have hard drive read error failures.
This means you have a failing or failed hard drive AND IT MUST BE REPLACED!
I'll provide you with some information on how to test both your hard drive and your RAM. You'll need to test your hard drives first before you start doing data recovery.
Here's the section on testing your hard drive and RAM:
(1) Test RAM memory.
If you are running Windows7, your computer is 4-5 yrs. old and is very likely to have 1 or more hardware failures to aging/usage. Download free MEMTEST
from link in my signature and test each RAM stick individually a minimum of 8 passes
. If MEMTEST
returns any errors, that RAM stick has failed and must be replaced.
on each stick until all sticks pass. Then reinsert all sticks into your computer and run MEMTEST
again for the 8 passes. Any failures reported by MEMTEST
must be corrected by replacing RAM with matched-pairs or all sticks with new until MEMTEST RETURNS NO ERRORS.
Once done, your RAM has passed move onto Step #3.
(2) Test your HARD DRIVE.
On a PC that's nearly 5 years old as is yours, it is VERY
likely your hard drive is failing or has failed and that's why you can't do a SYSTEM RESTORE
. Hard Drives are the #1 failed component in both desktops and laptops across all makes/models.
Download the free SEATOOLS
drive diagnostic from the link in my Signature below and run BOTH
short and long tests on your drive. If SEATOOLS
returns any errors your drive has FAILED
and must be REPLACED.
If this is the case, you will need to start Data Recovery to get all your Personal Data copied off that drive onto external media.[Also, if you have a Toshiba, Hitachi, or HGST drive, SEATOOLS won't test those drives so you will have to go to WD's website wd.com and download the appropriate diagnostic, either DLG or HGST to test those 3 types of drives. Additionally if you have a SSD boot drive, you will need to download TRIM via google to test SSD drive].
As far as your backup discussion goes, I'm not familiar with "BackBlaze backup", and Windows Backup, the backup that comes with Windows7 is not very reliable.
You've also made references to "automatic backup"
with Ubuntu LiveCD 14.04; there is no program I am aware that comes with this distrubution that provides this functionality.
You can, however, use the Ubuntu LiveCD when run from RAM via Flash Drive COPY
the files over from your Windows boot drive C: to another internal hard drive or an externally connected USB hard drive (connected with a "drive-caddy" device or similar.
You also mention "imaging"
of your existing Windows boot drive C:, and Joe in Post #6 mentioned MACRIUM REFLECT
. I have had the best luck with this program and ISOLINUX Clonezilla
. There is another free program you can use that many of us recommend and use and that's Acronis TrueImage
; this is available for free on the SEAGATE
and the WD
websites. As long as 1 of the 2 drives you are using for clone operation is on one of their drives. I've downloaded both versions, but have yet to use them. There is also a paid version of Acronis
which is $60 US, and I have a number of clients who have had luck with this as well. Imaging and cloning of hard drives takes years of experience and practice. It is NOT
really suited for repair and data recovery in my experience. My colleagues here have had much better luck than I have in this respect. However, you have a major conundrum to face by attempting this yourself.
This is the more repair utilities and imaging/cloning software you run on that failed boot drive, the less likely you are to repair it, as the process of continual read/write operations are likely to cause it to fail sooner.
That's why I recommend you TEST
the drive to see how bad it is before you continue data recovery efforts. The fact that your are getting random results with CHKDSK
C tell me that that drive is badly damaged. On a healthy drive, you can run these all day long with no damage to the drive, and most importantly they will pass EVERY SINGLE TIME
; not once in a while!!
Add to the mix that you are not using reliable Backup software; that's a recipe for F&F (Failure & Frustration
Another thing is we need to know the REALLOCATION SECTOR ERROR COUNT
on that drive. You can download SPECCY
for free from piriform.com and post that result back here. I can immediately tell you what your RSC
is. If it is NON-ZERO
; your hard drive has begun to fail and that's why you are getting spurious results from your Windows repair utilities (CHKDKSK & SFC). If your RSC>6
; this drive has failed and there are no repairs that can further be done to it; it has failed and must be replaced!!
If this is the case, even though your hard drive PASSES
the manufacturer's diagnostics I asked you to run above, your drive has failed and needs to be replaced.
You also asked if you can REPAIR
the hard drive by formatting it. This is not true;
and it's a rather common urban myth. Sort of like the one about getting warts by picking up a frog or toad. Formatting drives today is NOT
like formatting drives 20 years or more ago. Most formatting that occurs is HIGH-LEVEL formatting
, not LOW-LEVEL formatting
. I suggest you look that topic up on wikipedia or webopedia for a full treatement of the topic. SATA drives today do NOT
allow low-level formatting for the drive with Windows utilities; you must use custom written software usually in some form of Linux to do this; or the drive must be disassembled in a clean-room and put into a special machine to have the drive platters low-level formatted.
What you can do, is use certain Windows programs like Spinrite
and Linux programs like VIVARD
the hard flaws that appear on the drive platter surfaces. These utilities do not REPAIR
the flaw, that cannot be done as I state above, but the remap tells Windows (via NTFS) to skip that sector of the disk say sector 255,123 and tells Windows to move that to another available undamaged sector of the same drive such as 923,801. Each sector you remap, causes Windows to slow down since it has to reposition it's read/write heads everytime it attempts to read/write information to/from the damaged flawed sector. Modern SATA drives with a RSC=6 or more do not benefit from the remapping, and must be replaced. period.
Lastly, if that data on your boot drive is really important to you, I suggest you remove that drive, replace with a new drive to reinstall your Windows7 on and take that old drive to your local Computer Pro for data recovery before you damage it to the point of non-recovery. This will cost about $35-$120 US; 2-3 times this outside of US. If your local Tech cannot get any data or gets some, but not the data you want, say he gets documents and you wanted 200GB of movie files, you'll have to send your drive out to very expensive Professional Data Recovery.
There are only 2 companies in the US who do this properly. I don't know about Europe, but some of my teammates who live there can provide recommendations if you need them. In the US Professional Data Recovery starts at $250 and goes up from there. Expect your drive to be gone for 3-9 weeks; longer if you are shipping to US from UK I'm sure.
I think you are in panic mode, and you need to stop take a breath and look at your overall problem. You are spending way too much time trying to repair a failed hard drive, and are not focusing on the data recovery aspect. You need professional help in my opinion at this point. Continuing to experiment with various "repair"
software will only damage your boot drive to the point where it will be EXTREMELY
expensive to get anything off of that drive even with Professional data recovery!
I would suggest you use the "conquer-and-divide"
approach. Get your Windows7 PC working again by replacing a failed hard drive; that should be your #1 Goal!
Once you have done this, you can in parallel be working and thinking about getting proper data recovery done on your failed hard drive. Since it's going to be gone for weeks, why wait for that data recovery to be done to get your PC going again? That seems very counterproductive to me. Data Recovery should be your #2 goal, secondary to getting your PC working again. (unless you have another reliable computer in your home that you can use in the meantime; many households today have MULTIPLE computers!).
Post back the results of your RAM and HDD tests, and SPECCY
report and we'll be happy to confirm our suspicions on your boot drive. And any other questions on your data recovery will be happily answered. If you need the names of the companies in US who do Professional data recovery; post back for that too if you go that way.
Best of luck,